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Rochelle’s Special Education Tips

When You Receive the Private Psychological or Medical Reports, What Should You Be Asking?

The private psychological and medical reports regularly show up in IEP team meetings, filled with inaccurate authoritative statements supplied by the parents to the writers of the reports. Often the parent is describing the child in the home setting, not the school setting. Or the descriptions are exaggerated. Or the descriptions do not match the child you know. So what’s an IEP team member to do?

  1. Obtain consent to consult with the doctor. Ask the doctor to identify the source of the information. Review the information from the consult at a follow-up IEP team meeting.
  2. If you receive the report days before the IEP team meeting, as opposed to at the meeting, obtain consent to consult with the doctor prior to the meeting.
  3. Make sure the Prior Written Notice (PWN) reflects errors in the report.
  4. Ask the doctor: What is ABA, what is FAPE, what is 504, depending on the circumstances. Make sure the doctor’s responses are reflected in the PWN. Most non-educators have no idea what these things really mean.
  5. Sometimes the diagnoses or reported facts are old or misleading. So ask, when is the last time the student had a seizure? When did the bullying take place? How often do you see the student in therapy? When did therapy start? How long is each session? Does the student show up for the therapy sessions? Get the response in the PWN.
  6. Since the doctor is making educational recommendations, ask why the doctor did not seek information from the child’s teachers. Get the response in the PWN.

How do you get the responses in the PWN? You inform the team at the meeting of your conversation with the doctor and what you learned. The PWN reflects the information shared at the meeting.

The annual LSA/MABE Special Education Update is scheduled for May 26, 2017, at the Anne Arundel County Public Schools. A link to register is provided below.

Rochelle’s Special Education Tips (“Tips”) are designed to be helpful and thought provoking, but should not be considered legal advice as they may not be accurate for use in all situations. Tips are based on my opinions and positions in accordance with federal and Maryland law and my over 35 years of experience in the special education legal field. – Rochelle S. Eisenberg, Esquire
Copyright © 2017 Pessin Katz Law, P.A. All rights reserved.
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